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Jos Buttler reveals Cricket World Cup favourites and why England ‘don’t feel pressure’

Exclusive interview: England won the tournament for the first time in a thrilling final against New Zealand back in 2019

Sonia Twigg
Wednesday 04 October 2023 07:06 BST
Jos Buttler won the 2019 World Cup with England
Jos Buttler won the 2019 World Cup with England (Getty)

Jos Buttler insisted England do not feel any pressure going into the ICC Cricket World Cup in India as defending champions.

Four years ago, led by Eoin Morgan, England lifted the trophy after a final like no other at the Home of Cricket. It was a nail-biting contest involving two sides that could not be separated, and was the first World Cup to be decided by a super over.

Buttler was involved in the game and title-winning run out on the final ball of the match to see England crowned world champions for the first time.

This time around, England will start their title defence against their opponents from that day four years ago, New Zealand, in the first match of the main stage of the tournament, on 5 October, at the largest cricket ground in the world – the 134,000 capacity Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Buttler believes India are the favourites for the tournament, but with their side of cricketing stars and status as the No 1 ranked one-day international side, the hosts will be under pressure to perform.

“I think there was more pressure on us being at home and being favourites,” Buttler told The Independent.

“Certainly, we don’t feel any pressure as defending champions.

“You’re at the start of the tournament trying to win it, we’re in the same boat as every other side in the competition.”

Buttler added: “[We are] in the same boat as everyone trying to go there and win the World Cup.

“I think everyone has strong squads, and I see India as favourites in their own conditions and I see a lot of other strong teams as well who want to win the tournament.”

The hugely experienced Buttler has already led his side to World Cup glory, at last year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, but the 50-over competition is different. It only comes around every four years (compared to the biennial T20 edition), includes a gruelling schedule, and is a highly coveted trophy.

One of England’s biggest fixtures will be against India on 29 October, but the England captain is relishing the contest.

“Obviously the interest in India in cricket is huge,” Buttler said.

“The players are A-list celebrities and there’s a lot of media interest, a lot of fanatical support and the type of atmosphere that the fans create is amazing, it’s amazing to be a part of and really exciting to play in.

“So it’s exactly what we expect, we’re very much looking forward to that.

“We have played against India in India before, maybe not in a World Cup, but it will be a great experience.”

Eoin Morgan captained Jos Buttler during the 2019 World Cup (Getty)

Morgan, who now works as a Sky Sports analyst, believes in Buttler’s captaincy and praised him for commanding the players’ respect.

“I know Jos prepares an unbelievable amount, as a player never mind as a captain, and he commands a huge amount of respect in the changing room and has done for a long time,” Morgan told The Independent.

“Jos is at a stage in his career where he just wants to win and he realises like everybody else who is an England fan that this is such a special time in English cricket with white ball set up.”

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is available on Sky Sports and NOW from 5th October. Jos Buttler is an ambassador for sportswear brand Castore.

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